To app or not to app: 4 Indications that your business needs a mobile app

If you are an owner of a business, you must be wondering if your business actually needs a mobile app? Especially if you have a responsive website that loads well on mobile platforms, you might question the necessity of investing time and money on a dedicated app.
Despite your reservations, you probably will need an app to stay competitive if you have started to regularly witness one of the following conditions:

1. When your customers expect your business to have an app

customer-demand-for-mobile-app

Consumers have demonstrated an increased preference for mobile apps over websites while engaging with their favorite brands. Pay attention to what your customers say, and learn about their preferences- both said and unsaid. For example, frequent questions about online ordering, making reservations online or accessing account information could indicate the existence of demand for a branded app from your business.

Follow up on this perception demand by using formal and informal channels to get a better idea about the functions and features your app would need to provide value to your customers. When you know how people will use your app and how the app might affect your customers’ experience, you can begin planning a mobile strategy. If customers will shop more frequently, buy more products from you or receive better service by tapping on their phone than they would if they had to browse to your website, you should invest in a mobile app.

2. When competitors have a mobile app

competitors-with-mobile-app

If your competitors have developed a mobile app and now enjoy faster checkouts, higher profits or reduced expenses, it’s time that you also build a mobile app for your business. You also need to develop an app if you discover that customers are leaving you to enjoy the convenience and utility of apps supplied by your competitors. Suddenly, you have two new reasons to have a mobile app.

You should also consider whether you can achieve a competitive advantage by providing a mobile app, especially when your competitors don’t have one. As an example, we at Kays Harbor helped one of our US based snow-removal client realize the possibilities associated with having a mobile app, when most of their competitors were still relying on traditional methods of connecting with their customers.

The company spent time documenting its business processes and then worked with Kays Harbor to create an app that tracked its mobile workforce in real time, simplifying the dispatch process and speeding up the service. The app also integrated with the firm’s CRM and bookkeeping apps. As a result of the improved customer service and efficiency benefits of their mobile app, the company experienced 1000% plus growth figure in a span of 2 years and surpassed its competitors.

3. When you need increased customer loyalty

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Loyal customers bring repeat business that leads to increasing sales and profitability for your company. Traditional marketing tactics, including advertising, might bring you first-time sales but fails to keep your new customers coming back. Research continues to prove that businesses spend more to get a new customer than they would pay to retain a customer. If you struggle with customer loyalty, a mobile app might help you solve the problem.

A recent study shows that two-thirds of the companies that experience declining customer loyalty do not offer a mobile app. The statistic coincides with others that show the effectiveness of interacting with customers via mobile apps. A mobile app connects you with your customers, allowing you to deliver precise marketing messages designed to stimulate repeat business.

About 80 percent of consumers will change to a different store or brand as a result of a promotion. Based on this information, you can use your mobile app to proactively supply your customers with coupons and promotions to keep them from choosing a competitor. You can also create app-based loyalty programs based on the amount customers buy or the frequency of their visits.

4. When you sell online

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E-commerce retailers must offer convenient mobile shopping to stay competitive. Even if you have a traditional store that you want to expand online, you will need a mobile app. Many companies try to avoid getting an app by spending on a mobile-friendly website. Such a strategy ignores consumer preferences and jeopardizes the user experience.

Deploying a mobile app can put you in control over every part of the customer experience. To get started, customers can launch their shopping cart from an icon rather than using the multi-step process of opening a browser and entering a URL. Similarly, you can make sure all your products, buttons and text fields display properly within an app, while you never know how a website might load in any of the many mobile browsers and devices.

Conclusion

Having a mobile app makes sense for your business. Shoppers increasingly expect to have an app from their favorite stores and brands, and they often respond favorably to coupons, promotions and feedback opportunities supplied by mobile apps. Regardless of whether you must match a competitor or establish a competitive advantage, a mobile app gives you the tools you need to engage your customers and provide them with a superior experience.

By itself, benefits in the form of customer loyalty and sales can justify the expense of deploying and maintaining a mobile app. Don’t fall behind consumer and business trends. Start right now to plan for your mobile app.

This post was originally posted on Christian Post by David Fournier